Bret E Knapp is the Acting Director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and the Acting President of Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS), LLC.
Knapp has extensive knowledge of the nuclear weapons complex. Prior to taking on the role of LLNL Acting Director, Knapp served six years as the principal associate director and the associate director of the Weapons Program at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), from 2006-2013. As leader of this program, Knapp was responsible for oversight of the directorates for weapons, physics and plutonium science and manufacturing, as well as LANL's execution of the stockpile stewardship program.
During his tenure he developed a strong mission-oriented management team with an outstanding record of programmatic achievements and was one of LANL's leaders for safety and security records.
Prior to joining LANL, Knapp held several leadership positions at LLNL, where he began his career. He earned more than 25 years of experience in nuclear weapons program design and testing, leading programs in defense and nuclear technologies, B Program advanced development, and advanced conventional weapons. His responsibilities have included assessing, certifying, refurbishing, dismantling and supporting engineering research and development for LLNL-designed systems in the enduring stockpile.
Knapp has directed defense and nuclear technologies programmatic work and personnel at LANL, LLNL, Site 300, Pantex and Y-12. He was responsible for the engineering test facilities at Site 300 – the Lab's experimental test facility near Tracy, Calif. – as well as at the Lab's main site. He developed a novel design approach that improved operational efficiency for conducting subcritical experiments.
Knapp earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the California Polytechnic Institute and his master's degree, also in Mechanical Engineering, from the University of California, Davis.